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The Independent Culture
United States by Gore Vidal, Andre Deutsch, pounds 25. 114 essays by a tremendous hater. Review by Godfrey Hodgson, 16 October.

Martyr's Day by Michael Kelly, Macmillan, pounds 15.99. Sombre and eloquent Gulf war odyssey. Review by Robert Winder, 15 October.

Pronto by Elmore Leonard, Viking, pounds 14.99. A Miami bookie flees the Mafia. Review by Giles Smith, 16 October.

The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee, Chatto, pounds 14.99. Entertaining novel that squeezes cultures and centuries. Interview by Marianne Brace, 6 November.